2015年2月27日 星期五

YouTube for kids; Google, Driverless Cars and the Uber's Business

Google, Driverless Cars and the "Gooberification" of Everything
Posted: 02/20/2015 6:20 pm EST Updated: 02/20/2015 6:59 pm EST

Google is the most dominant platform in the world.

It is a pure platform company that makes almost all of its revenue from facilitating exchanges and interactions between its users. Google's main revenue driver, search advertising, works by connecting advertisers with consumers. And with Android, Google connects software developers with consumers through the Play Store. In fact, Google has made a significant investment in just about every type of platform.

Almost all of these platforms enable Google to improve its core business: collecting data on users and using that to serve them ads.
But the last platform frontier for Google is a services marketplace, where uber-startups Uber and Airbnb reign supreme. Uber recently made headlines when it unveiled a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to fund research for autonomous cars and proprietary mapping technology. This announcement could turn the formerly cozy Google and Uber relationship into full-blown competition. If Uber's investment in Carnegie Mellon pays off, it would allow the company to be less dependent on Google Maps and to directly compete with Google's autonomous car program.
And apparently, Google already sees the potential threat. News leaked last week that Google is in the early stages of testing its own Uber competitor. While Google's autonomous car aspirations are well-documented, its interest in developing a ride-hailing service app would be its first foray into a services marketplace platform. The details on the intent and scope of Google's program are still murky, and driverless cars are still years away from reaching mainstream consumers. But it's easy to see why Google would want to own the future of transportation.
Google's Blind Spots

Google makes 90% of its revenue selling text ads for every marketable product or service on earth. Search was the backbone of the consumer Internet, helping to organize traffic and information. All of Google's core products - Gmail, Android, Maps - are given away essentially for free so that the company can extend its access to information. In essence, Google expands its revenue by "expanding the pie" for the Internet. Google wanted to be the logistics platform of a digital world, and for the most part it has succeeded. Where it's failed is when it comes up against walled gardens like Facebook, which has reams of user data that Google's crawlers can't access. Enter Google's largely failed effort to establish a social network, Google +.

Where does Uber come into all of this? For now, Uber is just a ride-hailing app, but as some of its experiments (like messenger service Uber Rush) have shown, its mission is to become the logistics platform of a connected world. If Uber's dream becomes reality, Google could be faced with another walled garden keeping it from accessing information it wants. Google has continuously tried to expand its reach throughout the desktop and mobile Internet. So when the Internet of Things starts to come to life, I'd expect Google to try to do the same. Owning a key transportation platform through driverless cars would be one way for it to accomplish this.
The Gooberfication of Everything
So how could Google take on Uber? If Google can successfully bring autonomous cars to market, it could create what many have jokingly called "Goober," a services marketplace similar to Uber that's powered by self-driving cars. Compared to Uber today, Goober's transportation prices would be substantially lower. And even worse for Uber, Google wouldn't even need to make money from rides. Currently, Uber makes money by taking a cut of each transaction. But Google wouldn't need to. Instead, it could offer rides at-cost and make money from its captive audience by collecting data and showing them Google-run advertising.
In this scenario, Google doesn't even need to own the cars. A car owner could be dropped off at work and then their car could spend the day picking up and dropping off other passengers on Goober. The car owner would keep all the money they make from giving rides and Google would keep the advertising revenue and data. Everyone wins.
The more data Google can collect, the better it can target ads and the more advertisers will be willing to spend on Google advertising. By getting more users unto its platform through expand the pie initiatives like an Uber competitor, Google can continue to finely tune its big-data engine and position itself to be a central part of the Internet of Things. Game on, Uber.


這是谷歌首個從頭構建並專為兒童設計的應用,其細節設計包括大幅彩色界面、定時器設置等。除了易於導航的圖標和為家庭設計的內容外,這款應用還將包括家長可以操控的內容,比如上網時間、音量設置和搜索結果等。該應用的初始界面有芝麻街(Sesame Street)、火車頭日記(Thomas and Friends)和嘎巴寶寶(Yo Gabba Gabba)等一批熟悉的面孔,還有學習和音樂等選項卡,供孩子探索。 

Google is releasing a sanitized YouTube app just for kids.

Called YouTube Kids, the Android app only plays age-appropriate videos and has a simplified design that even young children who can't read will be able to navigate. The app, which will carry ads, will be available in the U.S. from Feb. 23.
YouTube says it has seen nearly 200% growth in family entertainment over the past year.
As its popularity with children has increased, so have concerns from parents. The site bans explicit sexual content, but there are dark corners of YouTube where kids can accidentally end up. There is a "Safety mode" on the regular site and apps, but it's still easy for kids to stumble onto inappropriate videos, or worse, read the comments.
"Parents have been asking us to make YouTube friendlier for kids and for families," said Shimrit Ben-Yair, the group product manager for YouTube Kids.
The app only plays a heavily edited selection of videos. Since there is such a huge amount of new kids' content being posted daily, the app will also rely on the community to tag anything ill-suited for children.
YouTube Kids is for watching only, so there is no ability to upload content, or share or comment on videos. Even the search function has been cleaned up. If a kid punches in a search term such as "sex" the app will reply, "Try searching for something else."
To accommodate toddlers, there's only minimal text in the graphics heavy design, and kids can speak search terms instead of typing. When a video ends the next will play automatically. A timer feature lets parents control how long their kids can use the app before it shuts down.
Videos are divided into four categories. The Shows section includes popular channels like Sesame Street and The FuZees, which are some of the big name brands releasing new episodes for the launch. Music is stocked with videos including the sing-along version of "Let it Go," which has been viewed more than 345 million times.
The app also takes into account kids more peculiar YouTube obsessions with the Learning and Explore sections. Many children spend hours watching user generated content, dance how-tos, or old gymnastics routines. There are Minecraft walk-throughs, where a player narrates a video of their gameplay. On the wildly popular DisneyCollector channel, a woman slowly unpacks toys such as princess figurines, describing each detail in a sing-songy voice.
In addition to testing with kids and parents inside Google, YouTube shared the app with children's advocacy groups like the Family Online Safety Institute and The Internet Keep Safe Coalition. YouTube did not say if it is working on an iOS version.
The free app will make its money from ads specifically targeted at kids. All the ads will undergo a rigorous review, according to Ben-Yair. To comply with the COPPA (the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act), which limits online tracking of anyone under 13, the app doesn't require users to log in.